Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Starving Sin

Isn't it amazing how God can use our life experiences to speak to us?  Even the ones that seem so random, He can use to teach or remind us of an important life lesson.  Well, I experienced that recently from a bizarre (and slightly gross) experience.

One of Scott's brothers and his wife has an amazing little gift.  They can seek out houses that look awful, buy them at an incredible deal, and then flip them for profit.  By the time they're done, it doesn't even look like the same house. So, they found a house up for auction in the area and we decided to go with them to check it out.  We should have thought twice when the realtor gave us the code to get into the house.

As soon as we opened the door, the worst stench came out of the house.  It smelled like a house full of dogs and urine.  I won't go into more detail, but just filth.  So, we all walk in and glance at the house and walk right out.  We weren't in there for more than one minute.  As soon as we come out, however, I notice that my husband starts picking stuff off of his legs.  Fleas.  There were fleas on all of us.  Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I. Do. Not. Do. Bugs.  My loving husband quickly came over to me and starting picking them off my pants while I tried not to think about what was happening.

It was quite the experience, and one that I would not like to repeat.  Through this experience, I felt God trying to teach me something about sin.  This is kind of a gross analogy, but bear with me.  The fleas in that house were starving.  They were starving for something to eat. If we had visited that house when the dogs were taking up residence, however, we could have walked in there and not noticed the fleas.

Sin is just like this.  If we approach sin with the mentality that we will only indulge a little bit, we are still feeding sin.  We can pretend that it's not taking up residence in our hearts, but it's still there and still living in our hearts.  When the house had residents living in it, we could have walked in there and not noticed the fleas because they would have been on the animals and they were being fed regularly so they wouldn't have pounced on us. But, it didn't mean the fleas weren't there.  They would just be a little more hidden.

When we try to get rid of sin in our lives, we can't just try to hide it.  We need to starve it.  If we just hide sin by only indulging in it some of the time, we are like a house full of fleas.  They may be a little more hidden but they are there.  A house full of fleas is so wasted and so filthy.  It is the same with a life full of sin.  We need Christ to clean our hearts, to show us the sin in our lives and help us starve that sin to death.

But, we have to be prepared to fight the battle when we begin to starve the sin in our lives.  Just as those fleas were ready to pounce on anything that walked in that house, sin wants to do the same thing to us.  We have to be ready and armed.  We must be armed with the Truth (God's Word) and sometimes we have to enlist the help of others.  Once we starve the sin in our life, though, the result is so worth it.

Just as a house without fleas can be inviting, our hearts without sin can reflect the love of Christ.  We have to completely eliminate the sin in our life by starving it and by not making excuses and indulging in sin some of the time.  Only through the power of Christ living in us is this possible.

"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil."
Ephesians 6:10-11

"Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God."
Romans 6:12-14